10 Top Tips When Buying a Used Car

If you’re in the market for a used vehicle, you’re probably excited about your new ride! Still, there are some practical points that you need to remember whilst you’re looking around. In this article, we’ll look at ten of the most important tips for buying a new car.

Make a list of what you want before you go

When you’re in the showroom, it’s easy to be enticed by gadgets and shiny new features. However, these often come with hefty price tags. Before you go to view cars, make a list of precisely what you want, and don’t deviate from it. Take a friend for moral support!

Decide on a budget and stick to it

As above, it is easy to be drawn into spending more at the showroom. You might find a car that ticks all boxes, on budget, but salespeople will always try to offer you an opportunity to spend more money. Don’t fall for it. Walk away if you need to.

A 1-year-old car is a lot cheaper than brand-new

A salesroom offering new and used cars together may want to sway you towards a new car; know that as soon as a new car is driven away, its value drops dramatically. Grab the best bargain by focusing on 1- or 2-year old cars; low mileage, great specs, and good prices.

A dealership offers more protection than a private seller

A private seller may offer more for your money, but if anything goes wrong, you have little or no protection. A dealership will have guarantees built in to your contract, so give yourself added security.

Buy at the end of the quarter to make the best deal

Sales targets usually run per quarter, so dealership staff will most likely be looking to boost their performance as a quarter draws to a close. The best deals are usually available at the end of March, June, September, and December.

Don’t be afraid to encourage competition between showrooms

If you’ve seen a great deal for a used Honda Accord in Atlanta from one dealership, and a similar offer elsewhere, don’t be afraid to let each party know. A sale is a sale, and if a showroom knows you’re likely to go elsewhere, they’re more inclined to match or exceed a great deal.

View the car on a dry day

Make sure you have plenty of light, and go for a dry day, as wet bodywork can cover scratches, scrapes, and rust.

Use the test drive to check more than just the engine

Get a feel for how the car really runs, check the interior components, seats, and electrics, and be aware of issues such as veering, warning lights, and unusual noises. Use your instinct.

Don’t get talked into extras you don’t need

Many of the add-ons offered in a showroom are not required; be sceptical of claims about bodywork and window protection, and check with a reputable garage before you go if any add-ons are worthwhile.


Always ask for the best price, then go a little further! It doesn’t hurt to try, and you won’t be left with any regret about trying to get a good deal.

Good luck, and happy motoring!